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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey will miss a few weeks with the strained hamstring suffered in Thursday night’s 24-9 victory at Houston, a league source confirmed to ESPN.
The injury occurred early in the second quarter when McCaffrey pulled up on a 2-yard run around the left side. He spent 22 minutes in the sideline medical tent before walking to the locker room under his own power.
Rookie Chuba Hubbard and veteran Royce Freeman finished the game as Carolina ran its record to 3-0 for the first time since the 2015 season that ended with a trip to the Super Bowl.
Hubbard, a fourth-round pick out of Oklahoma State who has 62 yards on 19 carries this season, is expected to be first up for next week’s game at Dallas. The Panthers are working out former Cleveland Browns and Texans running back Duke Johnson on Friday, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
NFL Network first reported that McCaffrey would miss games with the injury.
First-round draft pick Jaycee Horn also suffered multiple breaks in his right foot against the Texans, coach Matt Rhule said after the game.
Results of tests Horn underwent in Charlotte on Friday were not immediately known. The noncontact injury appeared to be similar to what tight end Greg Olsen suffered in 2017 when he broke his fifth metatarsal and missed nine weeks, including a bye.
Hubbard finished Thursday’s game with 52 yards on 11 rushes and three catches for 27 yards. Freeman had five rushes for 17 yards.
Asked if the Panthers could sustain their success without McCaffrey, left tackle Cameron Erving said, “We’re a football team. We’re not the Carolina Christian McCaffreys.”
Quarterback Sam Darnold said McCaffrey was “sad” when they spoke after the game. Darnold told McCaffrey it was important he didn’t rush back and assured him “we’ll be all right without him.”
“Obviously, we want him back,” Darnold said. “But I want him to take his time right now and make sure he’s good for the end of the season.”
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